Reckless driver video highlights dangers of oilfield traffic

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KERMIT, Tx. (KOSA) - A viewer sent CBS7 a dramatic video showing a massive 18-wheeler using the highway shoulder to race past another driver who stayed at the speed limit.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just one driver.

This is life on Highway 302.

“Every single day I see anything from a fender bender to something serious,” Anadarko Supervisor Ed Lemaster said.

“Oh, every day we see crazy, crazy things,” Rig Mechanic Luis Rivera said.

Oil employees say avoiding reckless drivers is just part of the commute.
Abel Cazares has been up and down 302 for years and has seen firsthand time and again what happens when drivers don’t pay attention to the road.

Like one scene he saw just a month ago where he said a driver was texting on the road and died because he couldn’t brake in time.
“There’s a lot of casualties,” Cazares said.

As he trains his new co-worker to take on the highway, the best he can do is teach him to stay alert and hope bigger trucks do the same.

“That truck’s 84,000 pounds loaded,” Cazares said. “It can’t stop like a pickup truck. If it hits you, chances are you’re not making it.

It’s a scary thought Lemaster can’t help but think about too.

He said his company goes through serious training to prepare employees for what he calls the most dangerous part of their jobs.

“We do several programs like safe start, trying to focus and know your surroundings and defensive driving and everything like that,” Lemaster said.

But no amount of training can ever take away the risk.

“When I leave the house every day, I tell my family I love them,” he said. “Because you never know if you’re going to be that one that’s not going to come home.”

Many people CBS7 spoke to said drivers like the one in the video simply need to leave earlier in the day and take their time for the sake of all the drivers around them.